We describe a fast mesh-based Monte Carlo (MC) photon migration algorithm for static and time-resolved imaging in 3D complex media. Compared with previous works using voxel-based media discretization, a mesh-based approach can be more accurate in modeling targets with curved boundaries or locally refined structures. We implement an efficient ray-tracing technique using Plücker Coordinates. The Barycentric coordinates computed from Plücker-formed ray-tracing enables us to use linear Lagrange basis functions to model both media properties and fluence distribution, leading to further improvement in accuracy. The Plücker-coordinate ray-polygon intersection test can be extended to hexahedral or high-order elements. Excellent agreement is found when comparing mesh-based MC with the analytical diffusion model and 3D voxel-based MC code in both homogeneous and heterogeneous cases. Realistic time-resolved imaging results are observed for a complex human brain anatomy using mesh-based MC. We also include multi-threading support in the software and will port it to a graphics processing unit platform in the near future.
Keywords: (170.3660) Light propagation in tissues; (170.5280) Photon migration; (170.7050) Turbid media.